SCHOOL FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION, THE HAGUE
For children in special education we need to do something special. That was the starting point for this design. This group of children deserves a building that is more than just accommodation. It needs be a building in which the pupils feel at home. It shouldn’t just be about learning; the atmosphere needs to be homely too.
A detached building was designed in the greenery on Theo Mann Bouwmeesterlaan in Benoordenhout, The Hague, between the high-rise 1970s buildings. Two smaller schools were combined into one building, creating a central section to connect the two buildings. This central section comprises two halls, one for each school, that can be combined into one large hall. This central hall functions as the building’s living room in which all joint activities can take place. Both schools and the Gym halls have their own entrances from this central area, making the building accessible from all sides and ensuring that the various traffic streams don’t hinder each other.
The parts of the building in which lessons are given comprise classrooms with wide corridors. The most active components of the program, such as home economics lessons, take place closest to the hall enabling easy combinations to be made.
The building’s exterior is characterized by horizontalism: façades of yellow-white brickwork of differing patterns and large eves on the sunny side. This is a simple way to keep the summer sun out and allow the winter sun through. The grounds around the building are designed with as much greenery as possible, including trees, a vegetable garden and hedging.